Can Cities Save the World? 
Over 2.600 politicians, academics and civil society representatives meet in Brussels!

Can Cities Save the World? Over 2.600 politicians, academics and civil society representatives meet in Brussels!

Start of the Brussels Urban Summit 2023.

Over 2,600 politicians, academics and civil society representatives from 600 cities around the world participate to the Brussels Urban Summit, including more than 160 mayors from cities worldwide.

By 2050, the United Nations estimates that two thirds of the planet’s inhabitants will live in urban areas. These areas are therefore key to facing today and tomorrow’s global challenges, such as climate change, migration, urban growth and inequality, the consequences of which will determine the fate of billions living in our cities. The Brussels Urban Summit convenes three international city conferences to discuss urban challenges and solutions: the triannual 14th Metropolis World Congress, the Eurocities Annual Conference and the 6th Meeting of the OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth Initiative.

During the Summit Opening on Tuesday 13/6 at 10am, Mayor of Kiyv Vitali Klitschko and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen will address attendees via livestream.

Brussels Urban Summit - Press Release BrusselsUrbanSummit_PressRelease_20230602.pdf - 3 MB

The Brussels Urban Summit, bringing together the biggest city networks, is uniquely suited to foster discussions about urban solutions to global challenges, concrete paths to their implementation and the critical role that cities will play in this journey. Brussels, the capital of the European Union, will host more than 2,600 politicians and city experts representing over 600 cities worldwide gather in Brussels. The honoured participants of the Summit include: Anne Hidalgo (mayor of Paris), Barthélémy Toye Dias (mayor of Dakar), Mansur Yavaş (mayor of Ankara), Jaime Pumarejo (mayor of Barranquilla), Asmaa Rhlalou (mayor of Rabat), Balendra Shah (mayor of Kathmandu), Emmanuel Serunjoji (mayor of Kawempe, Kampala), Fabian Mayer (mayor of Stuttgart), Sōichirō Takashima (mayor of Fukuoka), Karin Wanngård (mayor of Stockholm), Ricardo Rio (mayor of Braga), Susan Aitken (mayor of Glasgow), Kostas Bakoyannis (mayor of Athens) and many more influential politicians. All believe that cities are at forefront of answering today’s challenges and will be even more so in the future. They are committed to collaborate internationally to further these solutions. In addition to plenary sessions, the programme of the BUS includes meetings and workshops, power lunches, and site visits to allow participants to learn from one another and share their solutions to common challenges affecting cities worldwide, while engaging in genuine debate—when ideas clash, innovation is born. HM Mathilde Queen of Belgium will participate in a power lunch on mental health in cities.

​This Summit, designed to create debate, understanding, engagement and collaboration among cities, politicians, academics and the Brussels-based stakeholder community, will provide a platform to all, making every voice count in the search for a better urban future.
​The Brussels Urban Summit is an initiative of the Brussels Capital Region, Eurocities, Metropolis and the OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth Initiative. In addition to these leading partners, the Summit counts among its partners: the City of Brussels, the European Commission, the United Cities and Local Governments, the Global Parliament of Mayors, and many others.


Pascal Smet, State Secretary of the Brussels Capital Region, for European and International Relations:
​“For the first time ever, the three largest city networks are coming together to discuss major societal challenges and formulate urban solutions. It is only right this global city conference takes place in Brussels, a hyperinternational diverse metropolis and urban laboratory for innovation. The Brussels Urban Summit confirms Brussels' international status as diplomatic capital of the world.”
Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region:
​“I am convinced that cooperation is essential to meet the challenges we face. The Brussels Urban Summit aims to trigger positive change that will resonate in cities worldwide. We can inspire each other, challenge ingrained ways of thinking and create a shared vision for an urban sustainable development that leaves no one behind.”
Sven Gatz, Minister of the Government of the Brussels Capital Region, responsible for Finance, Budget, Civil Service, the Promotion of Multilingualism and the Image of Brussels:
​“This Brussels Urban Summit addresses almost all the big questions that cities are grappling with today. Our cities are hubs of innovation, but these days they are also facing major challenges such as migration, climate change, inequality, sustainability, social cohesion, etc. As minister in the Brussels Capital Region, I am proud that we were able to convince over a thousand politicians, experts and civil society representatives from more than 600 cities around the world to attend this summit."
Damiaan De Jonge Woordvoerder, Kabinet Pascal Smet


About Pascal Smet

Brussels Government, Secretary of State for Urbanism and Heritage - European and International Relations - Foreign Trade - Fire fighting and Emmergency medical Assistance

Member of the Board of the Flemish Community Commission (VGC), responsible for Culture,Youth, Sport, Community Centres, Living Together and Diversity

Pascal Smet
Koning Albert II laan 37 - 12de
1030 Brussel